13-14 Media Guide.indd - University of South Alabama

HEAD COACH MATTHEW GRAVESMATTHEW GRAVESHead CoachButler University • 1998First SeasonAfter spending the last 10 seasonsas an assistant on thestaff at Butler, where his effortshelped the Bulldogs advance toback-to-back NCAA Tournamentchampionship games and appearin the event in six of the last seven years, Matthew Graves entershis fi rst season as head men’s basketball coach at the University of SouthAlabama.During his tenure at Butler, Graves helped the program to an overall recordof 244-98 (71.3%), a berth in national postseason tournaments each of thelast eight seasons and eight straight years with 20-plus victories. Followingthe 2009-10 campaign that saw the Bulldogsfi nish 33-5 after falling to Duke 61-59 in the nationaltitle contest, he was promoted to associatehead coach; in his fi rst year in that role, Butlerreturned to the NCAA Tournament championshipgame after defeating Pittsburgh, Florida and Wisconsin— the fi rst, second and fourth seeds — inTHE GRAVES FILECOLLEGE EXPERIENCESouth Alabama (fi rst year)ASSISTANT COACHING EXPERIENCEButler (10 years)2003-13HIGH SCHOOL ASSISTANT EXPERIENCENorth Central (Ind.) High School (one year)1998-99Ben Davis (Ind.) High School (two years)1999-01ADMINISTRATIVE EXPERIENCEButler (two years)2001-03PLAYING EXPERIENCEButler (four years)1993-98 (guard)EDUCATIONButlerB.S., Education (Chemistry), 1998ButlerM.S., Education Administration, 2003“At South Alabama, I thinkyou are looking at a positionthat right now is oneof the top jobs in the SunBelt with everything fromresources to location tofacilities. It is a top-notchjob.”– Matthew Gravesthe Southeast Region while going on to post a 28-10 record.Last season, the Bulldogs’ fi rst in the Atlantic 10 Conference, they went27-9 including an 11-5 mark in league action. In addition to advancing tothe third round of the NCAA Tournament, Butler defeated two of the four No.1 seeds in the event — Indiana and Gonzaga — during the regular season.Graves fi rst helped lead Butler back to postseason play in 2005-06, whenthe school went 20-13 after earning a fi rst-round win in the National InvitationTournament. The following year, the Bulldogs won the NIT Season Tip-Off and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament before falling toeventual champion Florida en route to a fi nal record of 29-7. Butler fi nished30-4 after claiming the Horizon League Tournament title and a fi rst-roundNCAA win in 2007-08, advancing to the NCAATournament again the next season while postinga 26-6 mark.While on the Butler staff, Graves was listed No.2 on CollegeInsider.com’s ranking of top 25 midmajorassistants in 2009 while the previous yearFoxSports.com recognized him as one of the top10 mid-major assistants in the country.Graves started as an assistant coach at NorthCentral and Ben Davis High Schools in Indianapolis,joining the Bulldog staff as coordinator ofmen’s basketball operations in 2001. During hisfi rst two seasons at Butler, the Bulldogs won 53games and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the 2003NCAA Tournament.24PERSONALMarried to the former Susan NaueTwo daughters: Abigail (8) and Lillian (6)2013-14 South Alabama Men’s Basketball

HEAD COACH MATTHEW GRAVESAs a player, Graves lettered four yearsat Butler and was part of a program thatposted a 95-54 (63.8%) mark while hewas in school. He was team captaineach of his fi nal two seasons, whenthe Bulldogs went 23-10 and 22-11,respectively, after winning the MidwesternCollegiate Conference Tournamenttitle and advancing to the NCAA Tournament.Graves was the third-leadingscorer on the team in 1996-97 whenButler made its fi rst NCAA Tournamentappearance in 35 years, while as a seniorhe was chosen the squad’s mostvaluable player and was named to theMCC all-tournament team after recording18 points in the championship contest.He scored 994 points during his career,and still ranks among the top 10 inschool history with 175 three-point fi eldgoals and an 84.6 free-throw percentage.Graves’ 42 points his senior year against Cleveland State is the fi fth-highest total in a game inBulldog history.Off the court, he was named to the GTE Academic All-District V team his fi nal year and was also anacademic all-league selection.Graves earned his bachelor’s degree from Butler in education (chemistry) in 1998 and his master’sdegree from the school in 2003 in education administration. He and his wife Susan have two daughters,Abigail and Lillian.What they are saying...“He has a vision and a plan to build a program based upon proven successful principlesand clear expectations. He is a relentless recruiter, a student of the game, asavvy and skilled coach, a teacher who improves individual and team performance,and a man with integrity and impressive interpersonal skills.”– Dr. Joel Erdmann, South Alabama Director of Athletics“I could not be more thrilled for both Matthewand South Alabama. He is a terrifi cperson and coach, who will undoubtedlybring great credit to the University. He’san excellent communicator who understandswhat it takes to win at the highestlevel. We thank him for the 17 total yearshe spent at Butler as a player and staffmember; he had a tremendous impact onButler basketball.”– Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics HeadCoachGeneral info University preview Coaches Players 2012-13 Review history OpponentsThe Graves Family: Susan, Abby, Lily and Matthew252013-14 South Alabama Men’s Basketball

ASSISTANT COACHESDARNELL ARCHEYAssistant CoachButler University • 2003First SeasonWhen new University of South Alabamamen’s basketball head coachMatthew Graves needed an assistantfor his staff, he didn’t look farfor his fi rst hire.Darnell Archey, who served on the Butler coaching staff with Graves as coordinatorof basketball operations, joined the men’s basketball staff in April.Archey, a four-year letterwinner for Butler from 1999-03, served on the Bulldogs’staff for the past four seasons.The New Castle, Ind. native accumulated fi ve years of coaching experience at thehigh school level, including three as a head coach, where he mentored two McDonald’sAll-Americans and future all-conference performers in the ACC and Big 10Conference, before being hired at his alma mater.Archey’s most recent work as a head coach came at Park Tudor (Ind.) High Schoolin 2008-09. In his one season, he coached Kevin (Yogi) Ferrell, who was ranked theNo. 2 point guard and No. 19 overall by Rivals.com. Ferrell was Indiana Mr. Basketballrunner-up before earning All-Big 10 Honorable Mention and All-Freshman Teamhonors at Indiana.Prior to his stop at Park Tudor, Archey spent two seasons as the head coach atColumbus North (Ind.) High school.While at Carmel (Ind.) High School from 2004-06, he spent two seasons as varsityassistant and junior varsity head coach, helping the Greyhounds to a sectionalrunner-up appearance in 2005 and a sectional championship a year later. One of hispupils was Josh McRoberts, who went on to star at Duke and is a six-year veteranin the NBA.As a player, Archey set several school records and played on three NCAA Tournamentteams. He fi nished his career as the school’s all-time leading 3-point shooter—he iscurrently third—with 217, and set new school marks for free throw percentage in aseason (97.3%) and a career (95.1%).The free throw records were helped by his NCAA-record 85 consecutive conversionsat the charity stripe, set over parts of three seasons starting on Feb. 15, 2001 andending on Jan. 18, 2003.Butler set or tied a school record for victories in a season in each of Archey’s fouryears, culminating in a 27-6 campaign in 2002-03 that resulted in a Sweet 16appearance.Archey’s teams appeared in the postseason all four years and compiled a 4-4 recordin the NCAA Tournament and NIT. In the Bulldogs’ run to the Sweet 16, they earnedwins over No. 20 Mississippi State and No. 14 Louisville before fi nally bowing out totop seed and No. 3 Oklahoma.Butler defeated Louisville thanks to Archey’s eight 3-pointers (on nine attempts) and26 points. The eight 3s are tied for the most in school history in an NCAA Tournamentgame—and fourth-best overall—while his percentage (88.9%) against theCardinals still stands as the school NCAA mark. He additionally holds the Bulldogs’NCAA Tournament record for 3-point percentage in a single tournament (68.8%).After that season, Archey participated in and won the Men’s Collegiate Three-PointChampionship held at the Final Four.After his collegiate playing career was over, Archey played with the Harlem Globetrottersand a touring Australian basketball club.Archey earned a B.S. degree in business (marketing) in 2003 from Butler and he receivedhis teaching license in 2006 from Indiana Wesleyan. He and his wife Amandahave two daughters, Allie (5) and Ava (2).THE ARCHEY FILECOLLEGE EXPERIENCESouth AlabamaAssistant Coach _____________2013-PRButlerDirector of Basketball Operations _2009-1326The Archey Family: Ava, Darnell, Amanda and AllieHIGH SCHOOL EXPERIENCEPark Tudor (Ind.)Head Coach _______________ 2008-09Columbus North (Ind.)Head Coach _______________ 2006-08Carmel (Ind.)Varsity Boys’ Assistant Coach __ 2004-06Junior Varsity Head CoachPLAYING EXPERIENCEButler1999-03 (guard)EDUCATIONButlerB.S., Business (marketing), 2003PERSONALMarried to the former Amanda MatthewsTwo daughters: Allie (5) and Ava (2)2013-14 South Alabama Men’s Basketball

Dan Matic, who has coaching experienceat the AAU, junior college andDivision I level, is in his fi rst seasonat South Alabama.A Brooklyn, N.Y. native, Matic spentthe 2012-13 season at Eastern Illinois, serving as an assistant coach and recruitingcoordinator. One of his recruits, Alex Austin, led all Ohio Valley Conference freshmenin scoring, and the Panthers qualifi ed for the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament forthe fi rst time in three years.Prior to his time at EIU, Matic was an assistant at Olney Central College in Olney,Ill. In his one season at OCC, the Blue Knights won 27 games and won the GreatRivers Athletic Conference championship for the fi rst time in 14 years. Matic helpedguide Trivante Bloodman to player-of-the-year honors in the GRAC and the teamfi nished second in the NJCAA Region 24 Tournament. The second-place fi nish wasthe school’s best since 1994.Five players from that team went on to play at a NCAA Division I institution, includingBloodman, who signed with Mississippi State.Matic worked as a video coordinator for USA Basketball in 2009, where he accompaniedthe team to the World University Games in Serbia. Team USA, led by Wisconsinhead coach Bo Ryan, took home a bronze medal. Matic moved on to Wisconsin-Milwaukee for two seasons, serving as a graduate assistant and academic mentor.His work with UW Milwaukee helped Tony Meier receive Division I-AAA AthleticsDirectors Association Scholar-Athlete recognition and the team improved its GPAfrom 2.1 to 2.9.ASSISTANT COACHESDAN MATICAssistant CoachTrinity International • 2007First SeasonOn the court, the Panthers won the Horizon League in 2011 and participated in theNIT.Matic started his coaching career in 2001 with AAU team Team Takeover of NewYork City. In six years as head coach, he led the squad to a sixth-place fi nish at AAUnationals and had 16 players earn Division I scholarships, including Devin Ebanks(West Virginia/Los Angeles Lakers) and Ed Davis (North Carolina/Toronto Raptors).As a player, Matic lettered four years at Trinity International before playing professionallyin Cyprus. He returned to his alma mater and joined the coaching staff in2008.Matic has a B.S. degree in business administration, international business fromTrinity International.THE MATIC FILECOLLEGE EXPERIENCESouth AlabamaAssistant Coach _____________2013-PREastern IllinoisAssistant Coach _____________ 2012-13Olney Central (Ill.) CollegeHead Coach ________________ 2011-12Wisconsin-MilwaukeeGraduate Assistant Coach ______2009-11PLAYING EXPERIENCETrinity International2003-07 (guard)EDUCATIONTrinity International UniversityB.S., Business Administration, 2007General info University preview Coaches Players 2012-13 Review history OpponentsThe Matic Family: Dan and AlyshaPERSONALMarried to the former Alysha Schertz272013-14 South Alabama Men’s Basketball

ASSISTANT COACHESseasons at Tennessee Tech.Russ Willemsen is entering his fi rstseason as assistant coach at SouthAlabama after joining the staff in August2013.Willemsen spent the previous eightDuring Willemsen’s tenure at the Cookeville, Tenn. school, the Golden Eagles won 19or more in a season four times, including 20 in the 2010-11 campaign that endedwith an appearance in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. TTU rackedup 19 wins in the following season to earn back-to-back invites from the CIT.His fi rst two years on staff ended with a total of 38 wins as Tennessee Tech claimed19 victories in each of the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons and went a combined26-14 (.650 win percentage) in Ohio Valley Conference play to fi nish third and tiedfor third, respectively, in the league.While on staff he coached 12 All-OVC performers, including one NBA draft pick(Kevin Murphy) and two others that landed on NBA Summer League rosters. TheGolden Eagles also had four named to the OVC All-Tournament Team with Murphyreceiving consecutive nods.RUSS WILLEMSENAssistant CoachLee University • 2004First SeasonHe spent his fi rst season at Tech as the director of basketball operations wherehe coordinated team travel, produced recruiting materials and coordinated fi lm exchange.Willemsen got his start in the coaching profession as an undergrad at his almamater, Lee (Tenn.) University. He served on the staff for two seasons as a studentassistantbefore moving into a full-time role in 2004-05. The Flames had six playersnamed to NAIA All-America teams and advanced to the round of 16 and quarterfi -nals of the NAIA National Tournament during his fi ve seasons.Off the court he was responsible for the program’s community service projects—including public speaking engagements—and summer camps and oversaw theteam’s managers as an assistant.A regular contributor to CollegeChalktalk.com, Willemsen also wrote the introductoryarticle for the web site’s series on John Wooden, Pyramid Tribute: In Memory of JohnWooden. He has also written articles for BasketballHQ.com.Willemsen has a 2004 bachelor’s degree in physical education and history educationfrom Lee and he earned a master’s in instructional leadership in 2007 at TennesseeTech. He married the former Sarah Dolle on May 8, 2010.In addition to his on-court duties, Willemsen served as camp director and oversawthe team’s academic progress. His work helped the program to the 2007 and 2008OVC Academic Achievement Award.28The Willemsen Family: Sarah and RussTHE WILLEMSEN FILECOLLEGE EXPERIENCESouth AlabamaAssistant Coach ____________ 2013-PRTennessee TechAssistant Coach ____________ 2006-13LeeAssistant Coach ____________ 2004-05Student Assistant Coach ______ 2002-04EDUCATIONLee UniversityB.A., Physical Education/History Education,2004M.S., Instructional Leadership, 2007PERSONALMarried to the former Sarah Dolle2013-14 South Alabama Men’s Basketball

Chris Coker is in his sixth season on the South Alabama basketballstaff. In his role of director of basketball operations, heis responsible for most of the off-court activities of the playersand coaches, including overseeing fi lm exchange, travel, summercamps, recruiting and public relations functions.Prior to coming to USA, Coker spent six seasons as an assistant coach at West Alabama, and he also coachedtwo years as an assistant at Texas A&M-Kingsville. From 2004 until his departure from UWA, he served on theNABC's Division II Assistant Coaches Committee, providing insight to college basketball from that perspective.A 1994 graduate of North Alabama with a bachelor's degree in education, Coker began his coaching career atBaldwyn High School in Baldwyn, Miss. During his three-year stay, he served as head coach of the junior varsityand junior high teams while assisting with the varsity team. He also served as head coach of the varsity softballteam.Coker gained his fi rst collegiate experience in 1997 as a graduate assistant at West Alabama while he earned amaster’s degree in continuing education.Coker is married to the former Christal Compton of Clarksdale, Miss. The couple has three children: Jacob (15),Ava (7) and Ana (6).ASSISTANT COACHESCHRIS COKERDirector of Basketball OperationsNorth Alabama • 1994Seventh SeasonTHE COKER FILECOLLEGE EXPERIENCESouth AlabamaDirector of Basketball Operations _2007-PRWest AlabamaAssistant Coach _____________2001-07Texas A&M-KingsvilleAssistant Coach _____________1999-01West AlabamaGraduate Assistant Coach ______1997-99HIGH SCHOOL EXPERIENCEBaldwyn (Miss.) High SchoolVarsity Boys’ Assistant Coach ___1994-97Junior Varsity and Junior High Head CoachEDUCATIONUniversity of North AlabamaB.S., Education, 1994University of West AlabamaM.S., Education, 1998PERSONALMarried to the former Christal ComptonOne son Jacob (15), and two daughters Ava (7)and Ana (6)General info University preview Coaches Players 2012-13 Review history OpponentsThe Coker Family: Jacob, Ava, Christal, Ana and Chris292013-14 South Alabama Men’s Basketball

SUPPORT STAFFASSISTANT STRENGTH &CONDITIONING COACHJoey ChoronSouth Alabama ’02Fourth seasonFormer University of South Alabamabaseball standout Joey Choronis in his fourth season overseeing thestrength and conditioning program forthe men’s basketball team.Choron, in his fi fth season overallat USA, also heads up the strength andconditioning program for soccer, andassists with football.His role includes overseeing allworkouts and writing in-season and off-season programs for each team. Choronconsults with players to ensure they maintain proper nutrition and body weight.He also manages the intern schedule and assignments.Choron is a Certifi ed Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) throughthe National Strength and Conditioning Association and is also a USAW Level 1Performance Coach.Prior to the return to his alma mater, Choron worked at Sportplex of Mobileas an assistant manager. There he managed the membership sales team and theweight room staff, in addition to serving as a personal trainer for young athletes.His role also extended into the sales realm with a focus on increasing memberships.An accomplished player on the fi eld, Choron set records at both the juniorand senior college levels. While at Gulf Coast (Fla.) Community College he tied theschool’s home run record as a sophomore and was named to the Florida JuniorCollege All-State Second Team.He continued his prolifi c career at South Alabama where he tied the school’ssingle-season home run record with 21 in 1997 en route to second team all-conferencehonors. His power numbers carried over into the Sun Belt Tournament,setting new marks for home runs (5) and RBI (12) in a single tournament. He wasnamed Sun Belt Tournament Most Valuable Player and to the 1997 NCAA All-SouthRegion Team in Baton Rouge, where he led the Jaguars to within one game of theCollege World Series.Choron parlayed his success into professional contracts with the ChillicothePaints (1999-00) and the London Werewolves (2001) of the independent FrontierLeague.After his playing career concluded, he was hired as an assistant varsity baseballcoach at Theodore High School in Theodore, Ala. He served as the Bobcats’hitting coach and infi eld instructor.Choron earned a B.A. in business management from South Alabama in June2002.ASSISTANT ATHLETICTRAINERMatthew BrownIndiana State ’06Fifth seasonMatthew Brown was promotedfrom graduate assistant to a full-timeposition on USA’s athletic trainingstaff during the summer of 2008 andis currently in his eighth year at SouthAlabama. He is responsible for workingwith the school’s men’s basketball andmen’s golf programs.Brown came to the University ofSouth Alabama from Indiana State University.For two seasons, Brown served as the athletic trainer for the baseball teamat USA before working with the men’s basketball team. During his time at ISU heworked with all sports but spent his last year working exclusively with the men’sbasketball team and assisting with the baseball team.Brown earned his Bachelor of Science degree in athletic training from IndianaState in May 2006. He earned his master’s degree in exercise science at SouthAlabama.In addition to his work at Indiana State, Brown spent two summers as amedical provider for summer camp athletic training services at the University ofWisconsin-Whitewater.He is a certifi ed member of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, theSoutheast Athletic Trainers’ Association, and the Alabama Athletic Trainers’ Association.Originally from Logansport, Ind., he and his wife Shirley reside in Mobile.MEN’S BASKETBALL SUPPORT STAFF30Casey DyessStudent ManagerHarrison GrahamStudent ManagerCole TarverStudent ManagerJordan SurenkampGraduate AssistantDavid PotterAcademic ServicesShari LordAdministrative Asst.2013-14 South Alabama Men’s Basketball

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